Writing

Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher

The “Hello please buy my book” letter is one of the most nervewracking things you’re going to have to write. But you do have to do it, unless you want to go the self-publishing route, because otherwise your book’s going to linger in your archives for so long that it’ll end up being out of date.

One of the most annoying things when you’re trying to get your book published is how vague a lot of the advice is. “Find a publisher, send a query letter, get a book deal.” Um, yeah. I know. But, like, how?

Now I’m not saying I’ve got this all figured out, but I have one published book under my belt so far, and the query letter I sent to a publisher didn’t get a negative response (though they did ask for a little more detail, but that’s in the outline rather than the email itself… more on outlines in a future post).

So here’s the text of the email I sent them, with details redacted but otherwise intact.  Continue reading “Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher”

Books, digital forensics, Writing

Finding A Publisher For Your Book

In January 2017, I got an email from a publisher. They asked if I wanted to write a book about digital forensics. I said no. They asked again. I said no again. They kept asking more and more nicely, and offering me more and more things in exchange. I kept saying no. I wasn’t trying to negotiate a higher price, I just really didn’t want to write a digital forensics textbook.

In the end I said yes if I could have a co-author. I found Oleg Skulkin via Twitter, and we signed contracts and started writing a book together. Eventually, Windows Forensics Cookbook was born.

Unfortunately everything didn’t go quite how I’d expected.  Continue reading “Finding A Publisher For Your Book”

digital forensics, Writing

First Steps In Digital Forensics – What Would You Like To See?

Last year I wrote a book. It’s called Windows Forensics Cookbook and I didn’t really want to write it, but I’m glad I did because now I know I can. It was a little too technical for my liking, really: I would have liked to have written something meatier in terms of text, and less screenshotty.

So this year I’m writing another book. With a working title of First Steps In Digital Forensics, it will be aimed at people who want to get into the industry. Whether you’re a student of a related discipline, a professional looking to switch industries, or just someone who’s intrigued by the field and wants to know what it’s really like, this book will have something for you.

Continue reading “First Steps In Digital Forensics – What Would You Like To See?”

Books, Writing

How Long Should My Novel Be?

I have written so many books over the years, and yet until now I’ve had basically no idea what I’ve been doing, which is probably why until this year none of them have been published. I read as much as I could find about how to write a book and tried to apply the advice, but so much of it was simply too vague.

“Work on it!” they said.
“Plan it!” they said.
“Stick to a writing schedule!” they said.

Yeah, OK. But how do I plan it? How many words long does a book have to be? How many chapters should my novel have? How many words per page? How many pages per chapter? How many chapters per book? How do I know which bit goes where? How will I know when it’s finished? FUUUCCCKKK HELP MEEEEE

Continue reading “How Long Should My Novel Be?”

Writing

I write because…

The other day, Nothing To Puzzle wrote an Everyday Inspiration post about why she writes. She then invited her readers to think about the question as well.

The prompt was “I write because…” and the idea is that you finish the sentence with something that describes why you write.

Continue reading “I write because…”

Writing

Five Things I’ve Learned From Writing Professionally

I have been making a living through words on pages, in one way or another, since 2001.

Over the years, this has taken many forms: proofreading, poetry, copywriting, editing, academic research, translation… the list goes on.

Currently, on top of my various other jobs, I also edit a couple of websites. Doing so has recently given me cause to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned about writing over the years.

Continue reading “Five Things I’ve Learned From Writing Professionally”